I’m gonna talk periods, so fair warning if you want to leave now…
There was some politician that quoted a survey saying women spend £500 a year on menstruation products…WHAT?!? No way! So I did some research…
This article explains it clearly; £500 includes things like pain relief, replacement underwear and treats.
People may not spend £500 a year, but there is such a thing as menstrual poverty where girls are missing school (or women missing work) because of bleeding.
So, if you have little or no budget, what can you do?
- Buy cheap. Try a pound/dollar store, pharmacy own-brand or supermarket ones. They are not all created equal, there are very cheap ones that are not individually wrapped and the pads can be quite bulky…they do start from 25p per pack though! My favourite sanitary towels are Sainsbury’s own (not value, just own-brand) they are slim and individually wrapped just like the branded ones. (Approximately £25 for the year, not £500!)
- Buy in bulk when you can. Where we live there are a lot of seasonal jobs so many people stock up when they get paid the most (in the summer). You can also take advantage of sales, coupons, etc within that time around having the most money.
- Ask for help:
- If a girl is in school and starts bleeding they can ask the school nurse or even a receptionist for sanitary items.
- If school clothes (including underwear) need replacing and you receive certain benefits, your child may be entitled to Pupil Premium payments towards clothes and trips (so ask your school).
- Foodbanks often carry extra items like sanitary towels, pet food and baby care so you could ask in there (or any church/charity that supports people in financial difficulty).
- If you are on tax credits, recently had a baby or have medical exemption certificates, you can get painkillers and some types sanitary or contraceptive items prescribed for free by your GP surgery. Don’t forget children under 16 (or in full-time education- until 18) can get free prescriptions anyway.
4. Ask a friend…we’ve all been caught without sanitary items at some point (regardless of financial status) so most women will happily offer some if needed.
Just needed saying, so spread the word ladies!